Hi prospective IBH students!
After a long winter break to digest everything that had happened last semester, and after almost three weeks into this semester, I finally feel ready to contribute something meaningful here.
IB Honors is amazing. I'm in the perfect major. It's a huge challenge but you're in an environment that will help you achieve your goals. I've learned that IBH makes scientists. In other biology classes, you learn a lot about a certain topic. You go to lecture, listen, memorize facts and learn theories that coordinate those facts, and then you get tested and hopefully walk away with some of that information sticking around. In IBH, though, you're not only taught the facts - you're taught to evaluate them for yourself and to think critically. We read scientific articles last semester not just to learn something but to look at what we had previously learned and evaluate the information in a new context. And this semester, we learned about glycolysis and the kreb's cycle over two days in a really thought-provoking, step-by-step analysis of WHY this is happening, not just what was happening. We had to really think about every step of the process and not just memorize them. This, I feel, is how biology should be taught - not memorized from a book, but processed, challenged, and then finally laid to rest.
One bit of advice, though: IB Honors is amazing, no doubt. But as is the case with any time commitment, make sure you have the time to devote to it. IB, Orgo, and calc II last semester was really, really hard. I had a long and painful semester with those 12 credit hours alone (not including the psych class I took, which was minimal work compared to those behemoths) and I couldn't fully devote myself to orgo or calc. This semester, I cut it back quite a bit and I am much happier. I'm finding time to write creatively, devote myself to the lab I recently joined, and write meaningful lesson plans for the karate classes I help teach. Just having some breathing room makes a big difference. If you can handle a tough schedule, by all means go for it. Just know that IBH is going to take up quite some time outside of the 11-12 MWF and 1-5W :-)
Well, I better get going. In 7.5 hours I'm expected at Morrill to get trained to handle animals so I can start taking care of the possum colonies for my lab. Hope things are well with you, whoever is reading this. Good night!
IBH students travel the world, publish research papers, and do all sorts of amazing things